Solution Name: Cold Spray Additive Manufacturing (CSAM) of Large-Scale Rocket Engines
Challenge: Global Space Transport and Delivery
Focus Area: Launch/Space Vehicle Systems
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Solution Description:Radian Aerospace has proposed to employ Cold Spray Additive Manufacturing (CSAM) to produce thick-walled large-scale engines, controlling wall thickness to accurately meet thermal and pressure requirements of an engine with high uniformity and low defects. CSAM permits precise deposition of material followed by a heat treatment process that ensures grain alignment and a return of the manufactured engine to the material properties of a machined part made from the same source material. Radian Aerospace will use a standard manufacturing robot armed with a high-pressure metal powder spray head to deposit Inconel superalloy metal powder at high velocities onto a form to create the engine shell. Since the engine is largely axisymmetric, the form will be placed on a turntable to limit the required reach of the robot arm. Custom robot and turntable software will ensure coordination between the moving elements. Radian also plans to use laser scanning of the engine surface as it is being produced to ensure uniformity of the deposition and accurate engine dimensions, enhancing production timeliness and accuracy. The engine will be autonomously measured by the scanner and assessed using change detection and visualization software to ensure geometric consistency before and after heat treatment.
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